Growing Chocolate Cosmos: A Sweet Journey in Your Garden

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Brock Ingham
Brock Ingham
Chocolate Cosmos

Welcome to our cozy corner of the gardening world. Just like a warm cup of coco I’d like to take you on a delightful journey—a path to grow the rare Chocolate Cosmos flower. This flower is not just a velvety feast for the eyes but a treat for the senses as well.  The aroma of this flower is incredible giving off a chocolate scent that captivates and charms its admirers. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a curious newbie with a love for unique blooms, this guide is crafted with care to help you successfully grow your very own Chocolate Cosmos.


The Scent of Nature’s Chocolate

Imagine walking through your garden and being greeted by the rich aroma of chocolate with a hint of vanilla. Yes, the Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) lives up to its name, producing a subtle yet unmistakable cocoa fragrance, especially strong in the warm, late-afternoon sun. Chocolate Cosmos a must-have for sensory gardens and a conversation starter for any garden visitor.

A Rare Gem💎

The true Chocolate Cosmos is sterile, that means you won’t be able to save seeds for future years of growing. The flower is propagated through tuber division so be sure to keep them safe over the colder months!

Growing Tips for Chocolate Cosmos

Growing Chocolate Cosmos is a joy, and with a few tips, you’ll find it a rewarding experience that adds beauty and fragrance to your garden.


1. Sunlight and Soil: These flowers thrive in full sun but appreciate a bit of afternoon shade in hotter climates. Cosmos generally prefer well-draining soil and the Chocolate Cosmos is no different. If your soil is on the alkaline side add some magnesium salt to lower the pH as they like to grow in slightly acidic conditions. Finally, add in a good mix of garden soil, compost, and a bit of sand to achieve the perfect balance for healthy growth.

2. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Chocolate Cosmos dislikes dry spells, so regular watering is key, especially during hot, dry periods.

3. Feeding: A balanced, slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season gives them the boost they need. You can also supplement with a liquid flower fertilizer monthly to encourage abundant blooming. I like to kick things off with a low nitrogen fertilizer like bone meal at the time of planting, its slow release, low in nitrogen and full of calcium.

4. Deadheading: Regularly removing spent flowers not only tidies up the plant but also promotes continuous blooming throughout the summer and into fall. It maybe tempting to let this delicate flower stay in bloom but trust me on this one, deadheading will reward you with more flowers time and again.

5. Winter Care: In zones 7 and colder, Chocolate Cosmos is treated as an annual because it’s not frost-hardy. I’m in zone 5 so I simply lift the tubers out of the ground along with my dahlias at the end of the growing season, store them in a cool, dry place along with my dahlia tubers and replant in spring after the last frost. You could have some luck overwintering if your in zone 6 and apply a thick layer of mulch but I wouldn’t press my luck.

Not Just a Pretty Flower🌺

Beyond its beauty and scent, Chocolate Cosmos flowers are particularly attractive to pollinators, capturing the attention of bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects for your garden to benefit from.

Companion Plants for Chocolate Cosmos

Pairing the right companions with your Chocolate Cosmos not only enhances your garden’s beauty but also supports a healthier ecosystem. Consider these companions next to your Mexican Native Chocolate Cosmos:

Lavender: Its silvery foliage and purple blooms contrast beautifully with the deep chocolate hues of the Cosmos, and both thrive in similar sunny conditions.

Echinacea (Coneflower): The bold colors and tall stature of Echinacea make it a perfect backdrop for the delicate Chocolate Cosmos.

Sedum (Stonecrop): This low-growing succulent offers a textural contrast and is an excellent foreground companion, sharing similar sunlight and soil preferences.

These companions ensure your garden is a vibrant tapestry of color, texture, and fragrance throughout the season.

Wrapping Up Our Sweet Journey

Growing Chocolate Cosmos is like cultivating your own piece of paradise. Their chocolate scent, combined with their stunning burgundy flowers, makes them a standout addition to any garden, especially one that focuses on the senses. By following the growing tips and companion planting ideas you will be well on your way to growing one of the sweetest-smelling flowers around.

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